Since living in Boston and working almost full-time, my makeup routine and budget for makeup has certainly changed a bit! For one thing, I hardly wear any makeup at work, so a lot of the products I do pick out are more so designed to enhance my features a little bit and make me look awake, rather than a full-coverage glam beat. It’s noteworthy to add that while I wish all of these products were cruelty free (it’s an ideal I strive for,) L’oreél and Maybelline are unfortunately not cruelty free at this current point in time. With that out of the way, I hope you enjoy reading about some of the makeup I’ve been using lately from the drugstore! 

Lightshow Palette Fire Fit | POPBeauty | $12

I normally steer clear of drugstore eyeshadow palettes because I just don’t think they hold up to the more expensive ones (nor do I find the color stories interesting,) but this one just looked too beautiful for me not to try. I’d never heard of POPBeauty before, but since the price was decent and the entire collection of products looked adorable and clean, I decided to give it a go. As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of warm browns and oranges, and that’s exactly what this palette has to offer! The colors are gorgeous and the shimmers are especially stunning, but the mattes were not quite as pigmented as I had hope. Nonetheless, I’m definitely going to keep using it this fall and I’m glad to add it to my eyeshadow collection! 

Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in “Matte-Traction” and “Matte-ly in Love” | L’oréal | $11 each

I definitely don’t need another red lipstick in my makeup bin, but oh well, I really loved the look of these two colors. I think $11 for a lipstick is super reasonable, particularly since they all perform relatively the same and look all alike once applied on the lips. I was expecting these lipsticks to be a bit more matte, considering the names, but they still looked very flattering despite being a more cream-based formula. I also really like the packaging on these lipsticks: for a drugstore item, I actually think they look quite sleek and expensive. 

BrowFast Sculpt | Maybelline | $6

I’ve been meaning to buy a brow mascara for forever now, because I’ve finally grown my brows back in and I think they look much more natural when I use a mascara wand as opposed to a brush or a pencil. Although I really love this product a LOT and I think it’s so simple to use, I wish I had gotten a lighter color! My natural hair color is quite a warm brown, and the brow mascara shade I picked out is quite an ashy, dark brown. Nonetheless, for $6, I’m super impressed and I’m definitely going to keep using it because I love the formula. 

Matte Lip Stain in “Empower” | L’oréal | $12

Right behind a classic red, my second favorite lip color is a nudey pink. This time, I decided to opt for a lip stain formula and go with this one, also by L’oréal. I love this formula because it’s not too drying- something I pay attention to as the weather starts to get colder. There’s nothing worse (makeup-wise) than putting a drying lip stain onto your cracked lips! Because this lip stain is so soft and smooth, I think it could also double nicely as a cream blush. What do you guys think? 

MasterCamo Crayon Corrector | Maybelline | $10

I’ve always had very red, uneven skin, and since I’ve had luck with green concealers in the past, I decided to buy a new one. One of my biggest reasons for wearing such a heavy foundation in the past was because I wanted to erase my redness, but now that my makeup is on the softer side these days, I’ve found it looks more natural for me to just counteract the redness and then put a BB cream on top. I really like the spongy design of the brush, and I think it’s been doing a pretty good job so far! This is definitely going to become an everyday item for me. 

Lip Liner in “Brandy Wine” | wet n wild | $4

Last but certainly not least, I decided to pick out a dark lip liner that I could wear with my nude-colored lipsticks. I think that adding more emphasis to your lower lip and cupid’s bow can make them look more defined and rounded, which is why I decided to pick a color that may mimic a shadow of my natural lip color. I’m pretty happy with the color, and for $4 there isn’t much I can complain about. What do you guys think?

Now that I’ve been living on my own for about a month, I’ve learned that there’s one element of adulting that I love more than any other: meal prepping.

I’ve always been such a planner and I love discovering new recipes to try, so it’s no surprise I look forward to meal prepping every week! Grocery shopping can be kind of a *fun* challenge for me, since I’m living off savings until I get a job and I need to find the best ways to stretch my grocery money. What I’ve learned is that non-perishable items are usually the way to go, so that’s why you’ll see I buy a lot of frozen fruit, canned fruit, nuts, granola, etc. I enjoy shopping at Target and BJ’s the most; Target carries a lot of the vegetarian products I like, and BJ’s enables me to buy in bulk for super cheap. 


Here is everything on my grocery list this week:

Individual yogurt containers – $1.50 each

Granola – $4

Almond milk – $3

Frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries) – $5

Canned fruit (oranges, pineapple) – $20 for 32 cups

Romaine lettuce (this is safe again, right?) – $2

Sweet kale salad base mix – $2

Pecans – $8 (whyyy are nuts so expensive?)

Apples – $2

Poppyseed dressing – $5

Vegan ‘Chicken’ Scallopini – $5

Broccoli – $2

Total: $61


Meal 1: Overnight Oats

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Overnight Oats are a super simple recipe that makes for a healthy, filling, and easy breakfast. What I like most about this recipe is that it is extremely customizable, so you are bound to find a flavor that works best for you. For the basics, you’ll simply need quick oats (I buy a giant container for a couple of bucks, and it lasts me for months,) and the milk of your choice. From there, you can flavor your overnight oats however you want! Today I’m going to prepare the flavors blueberry muffin, strawberries and creme, mint chocolate chip, and s’mores. I also really like banana bread flavored overnight oats, but I didn’t buy any bananas on this past grocery trip. For the ‘blueberry muffin’ oats, I tossed in about a quarter of a cup of oats, a handful of frozen blueberries, a dash of cinnamon, a quarter of a cup of blueberry granola, and then I filled about half of the jar with almond milk. The rest of the oats have the same ratio of oats and milk, but different toppings. For strawberries and creme, I added about 2-3 large frozen strawberries and a hearty dollop of strawberry Greek yogurt. For the mint chocolate chip and s’mores flavors, I used those individual yogurt cups that come with the dry toppings included, and just mixed those all in with the oats and the milk. After you lid your oats, give them a good shake, and you can keep them in your fridge for up to four days! As you can probably infer, they’re called ‘overnight oats’ because you’re ideally supposed to prepare them the night before to let them chill and mix together. Side note: you can also add chia seeds to your overnight oats for an extra health boost, but I didn’t have any on hand this time.


Meal 2: Autumn Salad

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The salad I am going to prepare this week is an ‘autumn salad’ that I found on pinterest. This salad also calls for pears, but I couldn’t find any at the store because they’re not in season yet. For salad, I like to make about 3-4 servings in advance and then stack them in my fridge, in tupperware, for when I’m ready to use them. First I add a thin layer of romaine lettuce, then I mix that in with this delicious sweet kale salad base I found at Target. I honestly was never really a kale person until I tried this mix- it’s so crunchy and sweet, and the broccoli adds such a delicious touch. After I mix those two bases together, I’ll throw in my toppings: sliced apples, craisins, and pecans. When I’m ready to unpack it and eat it, I add my dressing, which is the Panera brand strawberry poppyseed dressing. I’m really picky about the dressings I like, but this poppyseed dressing goes great on everything and it doesn’t completely overpower the salad. I’ve been enjoying this salad for about two weeks now, and I still haven’t gotten tired of it. It’s also a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A. 


Meal 3: Lemon ‘Chicken’ Scallopini with Broccoli

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I’m honestly not really a cooking expert, so even though this recipe sounds fancy, it’s actually really easy to make! On my last shopping trip, I found Gardein vegan ‘chicken’ scallopini, and I decided to give it a try. I cooked it on my stove with about a cup of broccoli, some garlic salt, parsley, oregano, and a squeeze of lemon, and of my god, it tasted amazing. It’s also super easy to make, considering it basically only consists of two main ingredients, and then a few spices. I know vegan chicken isn’t for everybody, but I actually really like the way this tastes and I’m looking forward to making it again! The lemon really added a juicy, zesty kick to the fake chicken. I have a lot of microwavable Tupperware containers that I’ve saved from restaurants, so I think I’m going to make a large batch of this ahead of time and then stash it away in my freezer. 


I hope you guys enjoyed this article and found some food inspiration, particularly for you fellow vegetarians! Let me know if you try any of these recipes, and what you think of them yourself.

I don’t mean to sound like a snob, but I genuinely don’t like to do a lot of makeup shopping at drugstores. It’s not because I have anything against drugstores or cheaper makeup- I’ve just found through a lot of research that many drugstore brands are not cruelty-free. If you want high-quality makeup that is cruelty-free and possibly even vegan, you’ll simply have better luck at Ulta and Sephora. Cruelty-free makeup isn’t a priority for everyone, of course, but for me, it’s definitely a deal-breaker.

That being said, there are some drugstore brands I love that I’m happy to report are cruelty-free. More specifically, I’m going to be sharing my favorite individual products from these brands, and why I think you’ll love them as well.

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Above all, my favorite drugstore brand of all time is e.l.f. It’s very rare that I’m unsatisfied with an e.l.f. purchase; in fact, I think they consistently deliver great product better than most higher-end brands. Some of my favorite products from e.l.f. are their primers (I’m using the Poreless Face Primer right now), their Mad for Matte eyeshadow palette, and their extremely affordable face brushes. E.l.f. is a cruelty-free brand, and all of their makeup brushes are synthetic and vegan!

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Another one of my absolute favorites is NYX. Their products are available in slightly higher-end stores, like Ulta, but you can also pick up their products at Target and CVS (among other drugstores). Some of my absolute favorites are the Pin-Up Tease mascara (of course!) and their matte lip creams/liquid lipsticks. Just like e.l.f., NYX is extremely affordable, but with a high-quality guarantee on everything. Their liquid lipstick range is absolutely amazing, too- you can get a lipstick in every color imaginable. Another fun little tidbit about NYX is the symbolism behind their name- “Nyx” is the name of the Greek goddess of the night, which correlates nicely with the brand’s dark, vampy aesthetic.

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Upon extensive research, Milani is certified by PETA and the Leaping Bunny program, making me 100% positive that they too are a cruelty-free brand! I haven’t purchased too much from Milani, but they are available through the Hush app, so that’s subject to change. I absolutely love the illuminating face powder I purchased by them- it has quickly become an everyday staple in my makeup box. I’m hoping to do a drugstore liquid lipstick review + show-and-tell in the future, so I’ll have to pick up some more Milani products when I do!

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I used to buy a lot of Physicians Formula back in the day, and to be honest, I still really enjoy their products. They’re one of the “pricier” drugstore brands, if you can call a drugstore brand pricey, but I remember them being one of my favorite makeup lines when I was in late middle/ early high school. You’ve probably heard of their famous Butter Bronzer, but my personal favorite product from them is the Natural Nudes eyeshadow palette. The palettes are organized by eye color, so you can be sure you’re getting the best color array to complement your face (something I was grateful for as a fourteen year-old experimenting with makeup!). From personal experience, I know that Physician’s Formula is easy to locate at most Drugstores, including Walgreens and CVS.

There are quite a few other cruelty-free drugstore brands, but these four are my top favorites that I’ve tried and tested over the span of six years. Even as my disposable income is bound to increase in the next few years of my turbulent life, these are the products that I’ll continue to use and value, no matter how many other higher-end products come out. Let me know what your favorite drugstore brands are in the comments below!

Sources: https://www.sheknows.com/beauty-and-style/articles/1108311/drugstore-cruelty-free-makeup-brands/

Photo links: https://www.boots.com/elf

https://www.nyxcosmetics.com/lip-lingerie/NYX_315.html

https://www.centralcloseout.com/products/liquidation-milani-powder-blush-assorted-mrrbliquidation

Physicians Formula Review 2019: Just What The Doctor Ordered!

Coming up next: 2019 Spring Moodboard